Your Victorian poverty in Edinburgh tour at a glance.

YOUR VICTORIAN POVERTY IN EDINBURGH TOUR

USE EVIDENCE TO DISCOVER OUR CITY’S STORY

Please email robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk

to discuss your tour requirements

Just some of the learning questions answered on our Poor of Victorian Edinburgh tour
Our Victorian poverty tour is one of our favourite Edinburgh walking tours. The school version is just as interesting. So often schools have to rely on resources which focus on the lives of the rich, or of people who live in London! We designed this tour to give your class a sympathetic understanding of what life was like for the very poorest people in Edinburgh. This tour will encourage your pupils to think about how history can have a bias in terms of social class. Your class will compare maps with the streets they see today, and they’ll compare and contrast different archive images of the same building (and then compare that with the building as it looks today). There’s enough of the Victorian Old Town in evidence and even around us, to let your class imagine what it was like to live in the slum dwellings of Edinburgh. Edinburgh will act as a background which lets us look at some of the most significant aspects of life for the Victorian poor - immigration, sectarianism, poverty, charity (and lack of) and judgemental attitudes are all covered in this tour. There are a lot of opportunities for your class to feel real outrage at the lives these people had to suffer.
Important information for the class teacher
Clues on buildings in Blackfriars and St Mary's Streets. An Old Town slum.

“What role did immigration play in

Edinburgh’s history?”

Immigration was a significant aspect of life in the Victorian Old Town. Your class will have an opportunity to use an example of the National Census result for Blackfriars Wynd, and we’ll investigate the street as it is today. There are many positive stories about the role the Irish played in Victorian Edinburgh, and we will discover how this influenced a very famous Edinburgh sporting rivalry and (possibly) a popular song.
Map showing the Victorian Poorhouse in Edinburgh.

“What was a typical slum house like?”

We’ll use eyewitness evidence to imagine the slum dwellings and appalling rooms which were ‘home’ to Edinburgh’s poorest Victorians. We’ll even recreate the dimensions of a slum room and discover some of the unfair things unscrupulous landlords did to their tenants.
The Victorian Poverty tour.

“What was life like for the poor in

Victorian Edinburgh?”

Often school resource books will focus on the big events of the Victorian period or the lives of the rich and famous. This tour is very different, and it’s a very ‘Edinburgh’ tale. We’ll visit the site of two of Edinburgh’s very worst slum streets, and we’ll look for evidence of how they have changed over the years. Your class will also find out what ‘charity’ was available to the poor and why this wasn’t always helpful.

“What help was given to Edinburgh’s

poor (and why was this not always too

‘helpful’)?”

One of the most important influences on life for those at the very ‘bottom’ of Victorian society is the role that charity played. Your class will discover how prejudices and unfairness was often a decisive factor in whether a family would be supported or ignored. We will see the remaining section of Edinburgh’s Poorhouse and learn about why these places were some of the most controversial parts of Victorian charity.

“What evidence can we use to find out

about life for Edinburgh’s poorest

people?”

This is a fascinating question and one which is worth looking at, even briefly. The continual lack of fairness is a talking point which your pupils will meet time and time again on this tour. Upper-middle-class men usually wrote most accounts of the life of Edinburgh poor, and we’ll look at this bias on our tour. We can even visit Greyfriars Kirkyard to discover why having no evidence can be just as telling as having lots of evidence.
A night in an Old Edinburgh lodging-house.

“What changes were made to Edinburgh’s

streets so that the city was ‘improved’? ”

Your tour will visit Blackfriars Street and St Mary’s Street. These were once two of the very poorest places in Scotland. They were so poor that there were books written just about these slum areas. We’ll get a chance to look for clues which tell us what happened in these streets, and we’ll see how the council tried to make life better. These plans were much harder to put into action because of one rarely discussed part of the history of Victorian slums. Your class can then judge how effective the Council’s plans were. ******** ******* * + # #]+++-*
Wet weather information This tour is an ‘outside’ tour, and there are no areas where we can shelter out of the rain. We do realise that a wet and windy day probably isn’t going make for positive memories! We’re pretty flexible and will happily reschedule your date. There’s no extra cost for this. We realise this is useful if you are travelling on foot or using public transport. If you have organised transport, then please know that, whatever the weather, we will be there for you! If you’d like to reschedule your tour, please let us know by 8.30 am on the morning of your tour. My mobile number is 07590 026 077.
Accessibility information Although pupils won’t be walking for the full two hour duration of this tour, there are limited places where we can offer rest areas. We’ve put together a page which will highlight some relevant accessibility issues which occur on this tour route. We will try to alter the tour route if needed. There are limited options for this, however. Sadly, the Old Town is hilly and not brilliantly paved. All our tour routes cross at pedestrian crossings, and any alternative solutions might include streets which don’t have proper crossing areas. We’ve put together an accessibility information sheet with some information for your risk assessment print-out. You can access these here. .
Risk assessment Risk assessment is something which your governing body will legally need you to carry out and, as such, we can only offer some suggestions and recommendations for your paperwork. While we can’t offer these as your official risk assessment, please click here to download our suggested risk assessment information and our route instructions. We’ve put together an accessibility information sheet with some information for your risk assessment print-out. You can access these here.
Toilets and added value to your tour (!) We’ve got no ‘toilet’ stops on our tour, but you are welcome to ask the Museum of Scotland if you can use theirs. Most of our schools' tours of Edinburgh start just across the road from there. You may also want to book a teacher-led guided tour/exploration of the Museum of Scotland. This is free. They also offer a series of paid workshops. Booking something either of these options will allow you to ask for the use of their lunchroom. We also recommend checking out the educational workshops at Riddle’s Court. These come with a cost. A lunchroom is sometimes available.
Please contact us so that we can discuss your Victorian Edinburgh tour requirements. Email us at; robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk You can also call/text us on; 07590 026 077
Please contact us so that we can discuss your Victorian Edinburgh tour requirements. Email us at; robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk You can also call/text us on; 07590 026 077
Finding out about immigration in Blackfriars Wynd. CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED ITINERARY          OF THIS GUIDED ACTIVITY TOUR

YOUR SECOND LEVEL EDINBURGH’S VICTORIAN POOR TOUR

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT ON THIS TOUR?

Weather icon. Accessibility icon. Risk assessment icon. Toilet icon.
“We were looking forward to the tour and knew that it would be good from watching the video on the website and some word of mouth feedback, but it exceeded all expectations!” J.Moynes - Class Teacher
2020 TRAVELLER’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER
THE POOR OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR
ONLINE EXPERIENCES Old Edinburgh Virtual Tour
© Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd 2020
BOOK NOW
Call us +44 (0)7590 026 077
Our 'Good to Go' certification from Visit Britain.
WE’RE GOOD TO GO!

COVID-19 AND YOUR SAFETY

Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd have successfully achieved the ‘Good to go” standard from Visit Britain which shows we follow current government COVID-19 guidelines and that we have processes in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. You can find out more about our COVID-19 policy here.

Please contact us so that we can discuss your castle

tour requirements.

Email us at; robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk

You can also call/text us on; 07590 026 077

“We were looking forward to the tour and knew that it would be good from watching the video on the website and some word of mouth feedback, but it exceeded all expectations!” J.Moynes - Class Teacher

Please email robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk

to discuss your tour requirements

Just some of the learning questions answered on our Poor of Victorian Edinburgh tour

“What role did immigration play in

Edinburgh’s history?”

Immigration was a significant aspect of life in the Victorian Old Town. Your class will have an opportunity to use an example of the National Census result for Blackfriars Wynd, and we’ll investigate the street as it is today. There are many positive stories about the role the Irish played in Victorian Edinburgh, and we will discover how this influenced a very famous Edinburgh sporting rivalry and (possibly) a popular song.

“What was a typical slum house like?”

We’ll use eyewitness evidence to imagine the slum dwellings and appalling rooms which were ‘home’ to Edinburgh’s poorest Victorians. We’ll even recreate the dimensions of a slum room and discover some of the unfair things unscrupulous landlords did to their tenants.

“What was life like for the poor in

Victorian Edinburgh?”

Often school resource books will focus on the big events of the Victorian period or the lives of the rich and famous. This tour is very different, and it’s a very ‘Edinburgh’ tale. We’ll visit the site of two of Edinburgh’s very worst slum streets, and we’ll look for evidence of how they have changed over the years. Your class will also find out what ‘charity’ was available to the poor and why this wasn’t always helpful. We’ll also discover how Edinburgh’s immigrant population influenced and changed Edinburgh.

“What help was given to Edinburgh’s poor

(and why was this not always too

‘helpful’)?”

One of the most important influences on life for those at the very ‘bottom’ of Victorian society is the role that charity played. Your class will discover how prejudices and unfairness was often a decisive factor in whether a family would be supported or ignored. We will see the remaining section of Edinburgh’s Poorhouse and learn about why these places were some of the most controversial parts of Victorian charity.

“What evidence can we use to find out

about life for Edinburgh’s poorest

people?”

This is a fascinating question and one which is worth looking at, even briefly. The continual lack of fairness is a talking point which your pupils will meet time and time again on this tour. Upper-middle-class men usually wrote most accounts of the life of Edinburgh poor, and we’ll look at this bias on our tour. We can even visit Greyfriars Kirkyard to discover why having no evidence can be just as telling as having lots of evidence.
Important information for the class teacher

“What changes were made to Edinburgh’s

streets so that the city was ‘improved’? ”

Your tour will visit Blackfriars Street and St Mary’s Street. These were once two of the very poorest places in Scotland. They were so poor that there were books written just about these slum areas. We’ll get a chance to look for clues which tell us what happened in these streets, and we’ll see how the council tried to make life better. These plans were much harder to put into action because of one rarely discussed part of the history of Victorian slums. Your class can then judge how effective the Council’s plans were. ******** ******* * + # #]+++-*
Wet weather information This tour is an ‘outside’ tour, and there are no areas where we can shelter out of the rain. We do realise that a wet and windy day probably isn’t going make for positive memories! We’re pretty flexible and will happily reschedule your date. There’s no extra cost for this. We realise this is useful if you are travelling on foot or using public transport. If you have organised transport, then please know that, whatever the weather, we will be there for you! If you’d like to reschedule your tour, please let us know by 8.30 am on the morning of your tour. My mobile number is 07590 026 077.
Accessibility information Although pupils won’t be walking for the full two hour duration of this tour, there are limited places where we can offer rest areas. We’ve put together a page which will highlight some relevant accessibility issues which occur on this tour route. We will try to alter the tour route if needed. There are limited options for this, however. Sadly, the Old Town is hilly and not brilliantly paved. All our tour routes cross at pedestrian crossings, and any alternative solutions might include streets which don’t have proper crossing areas. We’ve put together an accessibility information sheet with some information for your risk assessment print-out. You can access these here. .
Risk assessment Risk assessment is something which your governing body will legally need you to carry out and, as such, we can only offer some suggestions and recommendations for your paperwork. While we can’t offer these as your official risk assessment, please click here to download our suggested risk assessment information and our route instructions. We’ve put together an accessibility information sheet with some information for your risk assessment print-out. You can access these here.
Toilets and added value to your tour (!) We’ve got no ‘toilet’ stops on our tour, but you are welcome to ask the Museum of Scotland if you can use theirs. Most of our schools' tours of Edinburgh start just across the road from there. You may also want to book a teacher-led guided tour/exploration of the Museum of Scotland. This is free. They also offer a series of paid workshops. Booking something either of these options will allow you to ask for the use of their lunchroom. We also recommend checking out the educational workshops at Riddle’s Court. These come with a cost. A lunchroom is sometimes available.

Please contact us so that we can discuss your castle

tour requirements.

Email us at; robert@historicedinburghtours.co.uk

You can also call/text us on; 07590 026 077

THE POOR OF VICTORIAN EDINBURGH TOUR
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED ITINERARY       FOR THIS SCHOOL ACTIVITY TOUR Your Victorian poverty in Edinburgh tour at a glance.
Our Victorian poverty tour is one of our favourite Edinburgh walking tours. The school version is just as interesting. So often schools have to rely on resources which focus on the lives of the rich, or of people who live in London! We designed this tour to give your class a sympathetic understanding of what life was like for the very poorest people in Edinburgh. This tour will encourage your pupils to think about how history can have a bias in terms of social class. Your class will compare maps with the streets they see today, and they’ll compare and contrast different archive images of the same building (and then compare that with the building as it looks today). There’s enough of the Victorian Old Town in evidence and even around us, to let your class imagine what it was like to live in the slum dwellings of Edinburgh. Edinburgh will act as a background which lets us look at some of the most significant aspects of life for the Victorian poor - immigration, sectarianism, poverty, charity (and lack of) and judgemental attitudes are all covered in this tour. There are a lot of opportunities for your class to feel real outrage at the lives these people had to suffer.

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT ON THIS TOUR?

Weather icon. Accessibility icon. Risk assessment icon. Toilet icon.

YOUR SECOND LEVEL EDINBURGH’S

VICTORIAN POOR TOUR

BOOK  NOW
Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd official logo
© Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd 2020
Text/Call us : +44 (0)7590 026 077
WE’RE GOOD TO GO!

COVID-19 AND YOUR SAFETY

Historic Edinburgh Tours Ltd have achieved the ‘Good to go” standard from Visit Britain. You can find out more about our COVID-19 policy here.
Our 'Good to Go' certification from Visit Britain.